It was fun until it wasn’t
The natural human alcohol consumption cycle is interesting because most people don't have fond memories of their first drink. Yet, most admit to drinking again and finding quite some enjoyment in the experience. Then some (of us) take that experience to a new level where the alcohol moves us from carefree to chaos and, in some cases, catastrophe.
Why can some people park it at cheerful and some go all-in to devastating?
We are sure there is a science behind it. At least in our humble opinion. We also agree that we don't wear the white coats of knowledge and know the data that results from our drinking exploitation and the examples of the many that we surround ourselves with today.
In the early 1930s, a physician, William D. Silkworth, M.D., penned a letter for publication describing an abnormal reaction that some people have to alcohol. His opinion became foundational to Alcoholics Anonymous in that it explains the “reason” things get out of control.
To exasperate the frustrating situation we find ourselves in, the memories that come top and robust in our minds are the memories of the bliss associated with our experience, not the emotional and physical damage that occurred. We remember the first drink, not the bottle. We remember the laughter, not the tears. We hold onto the hugs, not the hits. We remember the courtship, not the courts. We recognize the fun, not the wasn't.
Successful recovery demands honesty in recollection.
For us, it is a conscious decision to take ourselves back to that moment of surrender. We have found that connecting to the emotion of that time is essential. We don't stay parked there; we reconnect to the feeling and reestablish our “why” - we do this daily so that we never forget what alcohol did to us. The loss of this asset would damage your chance to recover.
We share these experiences with those in our support network.
Friends and people we meet along the way come on to sober.coffee and honestly share their experiences for a straightforward reason: to help the next struggling alcoholic realize that they are not alone and that other people have similar experiences and have conquered, at least temporarily, the wasn’t.
In April of 2021, the podcast had one such friend, Karen, and she shared that she came to a point where she said, “I just can't live like this anymore” and also revealed in her wisdom that if she was willing to change, she could have a completely different life.
It turns out she was willing, and she has an entirely different (magnificently better, by the way) life today.
So, is it possible to go from wasn't to fun again?
During our time together, she emphatically suggested that it is possible to find joy by working the 12-step program and prayer.
We bust out those two ideas in this post:
Two main pieces of literature detail a guide to recovery in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. The volumes are 1) the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous and 2) Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (commonly referred to as the 12 and 12).
The two pieces of nonfiction walk the reader through a proven success path, step by step and in complete detail.
The big book of Alcoholics Anonymous is broken down into two sections. The first section covers 164 pages and is the textbook alcoholics have followed successfully for decades. The second section is a stack of stories written by alcoholics. Their tails provide connectivity and insight to live by. Thirty million copies of this publication have been printed for distribution. The most important copies ended up on our nightstands.
The 12 and 12 breaks down the 12 steps and addresses the 12 traditions that keep the organization thriving. The uniqueness of this non-structure sits on these pillars and has withstood the test of time. Even alcoholics can't destroy this good thing.
We believe in each word in these books. When we speak and write, we do so based on the actual written words.
The fantastic thing is that no substantive change has happened to these writings since they were first published nearly 100 years ago. All we can say is that there IS a solution, which IS found between the binds of these two great works.
Karen’s experience with these pieces is that she learned how to process life without alcohol while gaining a deeper understanding of herself. That is just priceless right there.
Karen also calls prayer out as her guiding action to greatness.
Like us, and many we now associate with, the first step was establishing an understanding of whom we were praying to. We explore this topic a lot here at sober.coffee. Karen admits that she had a God in her life early on, but that recovery gave her a different relationship with that same God.
Look, this may take a process of unlearning what one has been taught about the creator of the universe. We beg everyone to Invest in that process, if need be, as this relationship represents the linchpin to success in recovery.
You see, it is this higher power that we will depend on to take away the obsession to drink. It won't be our self-will or our determination not to want that first drink. Sobriety will rely on a partnership with a higher power. We have found it best to be on sound footing in this area.
We have seen success in our own lives and in the lives of many that have shaped a higher power that is forgiving, encouraging, and loving. A higher power that is rooting for our success and not damning us for our failures. Remember, it is a God of “your understanding.”
We are not saying that there isn't work to be done. We are simply saying that life can be fun again.
If you “can't live like this anymore,” – BE willing to change!
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee BONUS podcast that is titled: “Karen shares her Experience, Strength, and Hope.” The podcast dropped on 4/21/2021. Click here to hear the podcast.
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions do not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.